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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Recalls 1.9 Million Vehicles For Airbags Not Deploying

      The airbag and seatbelt pre-tensioners may not work in the event of a crash


    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced yesterday that it would be recalling 1,908,911 vehicles worldwide due to the airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners possibly not deploying in the event of a crash. Approximately 1.4 million vehicles involved in the recall are in the U.S.

    In a statement released by FCA, the issue deals with a specific restraint control module and front impact sensor wiring.

    "The condition may occur when vehicles equipped with a particular occupant restraint control module and front impact sensor wiring of a specific design, are involved in certain collisions. If all these factors are present, there may be an increased potential for occupant injury.”

    The vehicles involved include,

    • 2010 Chrysler Sebring midsize car
    • 2011-2014 Chrysler 200 midsize cars
    • 2010-2012 Dodge Caliber compact car
    • 2010-2014 Dodge Avenger midsize cars
    • 2010-2014 Jeep® Patriot and Compass SUVs

    FCA says it is aware of three fatalities and five injuries possibly linked to this issue. The company has also said that it stopped using the affected parts and wire routing in newer vehicles.

    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is currently working on a notification schedule to alert owners about the problem. If you have questions, you are asked to call FCA US Customer Care Center at 1-800-853-1403.

    FCA's recall comes a week after General Motors announced a similar recall for 4.3 million vehicles because of a software bug.

    Source: Reuters, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

    Press Release is on Page 2


    Statement: Occupant Restraint Controller

    September 15, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC is voluntarily recalling an estimated 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S. to resolve a condition that may prevent air-bag and seat-belt pretensioner deployment capability in certain crashes.

    The condition may occur when vehicles equipped with a particular occupant restraint control module and front impact sensor wiring of a specific design, are involved in certain collisions.

    If all these factors are present, there may be an increased potential for occupant injury.

    This action was prompted by an FCA US analysis of certain field events and other vehicle data. The Company is aware of three fatalities and five injuries that may potentially be related to this condition.

    FCA US no longer uses the occupant restraint controllers or wire routing design found in the affected vehicles, which are:

    2010 Chrysler Sebring midsize car
    2011-2014 Chrysler 200 midsize cars
    2010-2012 Dodge Caliber compact car
    2010-2014 Dodge Avenger midsize cars
    2010-2014 Jeep® Patriot and Compass SUVs

    An additional 142,959 of these vehicles are subject to recall in Canada; 81,901 in Mexico, a population that includes the 2010 Chrysler Cirrus compact car; and 284,051 outside North America, which also includes the 2012-2013 Lancia Flavia midsize car.

    FCA US will advise affected customers when they may schedule service, which will be performed free of charge. Customers with questions may call the FCA US Customer Care Center at (800) 853-1403.

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    43 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    Eh, since it's just human lives and not environment related, it'll be fine. They should be happy they just killed people instead of polluting too much.

    Again, there is a difference between malice and a mistake.  VW acted specifically to circumvent the law.  In this case, an unintentional flaw was found in a product and the manufacturer is taking steps to fix. 

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    11 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Again, there is a difference between malice and a mistake.  VW acted specifically to circumvent the law.  In this case, an unintentional flaw was found in a product and the manufacturer is taking steps to fix. 

    Agreed. To me, it is about corporate culture, and Fiat Chrysler had no intention of defrauding it's customers in regards to safety.

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    32 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    So if someone accidentally kills someone, they should get in less trouble than someone who intentionally littered is what you guys are saying.

     

    Got it.

    No we are saying mistakes happen.  I am probably the harshest critic of Fiat Chrysler here in and G, and I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

     

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    2 hours ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    So if someone accidentally kills someone, they should get in less trouble than someone who intentionally littered is what you guys are saying.

     

    Got it.

    Not the same thing at all.

    One was done unintentionally. They thought they made the product to do it's intended purpose and it turns out that it is failing and the other was completely intentionally frauding customers, shareholders, and everybody else for that matter who breaths. Their vehicles were specifically designed to circumvent the law.

    And we will never know how many people die or get ill from too much exhaust fumes being pumped into the air but to think it is zero is being pretty oblivious for how many vehicles are on the road(VW diesels that is).

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    45 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Not the same thing at all.

    One was done unintentionally. They thought they made the product to do it's intended purpose and it turns out that it is failing and the other was completely intentionally frauding customers, shareholders, and everybody else for that matter who breaths. Their vehicles were specifically designed to circumvent the law.

    And we will never know how many people die or get ill from too much exhaust fumes being pumped into the air but to think it is zero is being pretty oblivious for how many vehicles are on the road(VW diesels that is).

    So that's FCA's excuse. What about Takata and GM? They knew about their issues for years. They ignored them and then tried to cover them up.

    And you're right, we won't ever know how much VW's emission cheat affected the environment. Our species may not even last long enough to see them. Either way, they're nowhere near the contributor that a multitude of other sources are. Corporations the world over are practicing tactics and methods that are negatively impacting the environment. All for a quick buck. But we turn a blind eye to them.  

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    4 hours ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    So if someone accidentally kills someone, they should get in less trouble than someone who intentionally littered is what you guys are saying.

     

    Got it.

    Again... no.

    Lets look at 4 cases.

    VW TDI Scandal, GM Ignition Switch Scandal, Toyota Unintended Acceleration Scandal, FCA's and GM's Recalls over faulty airbag sensors.  We'll do VW last.

    • In the Toyota scandal, the issue was that Toyota knew there was a problem, but claimed they didn't. This is a six year old article that I wrote so the formatting is all f-ed up, but the basic point is that Toyota should have been in hot water over this issue because they had been recalling vehicles and zip-tying floor mats for 4 years before it became national news. On top of they, Toyota tried to force owners into NDAs to get their cars fixed.  Toyota should have taken a bigger hit than they did for that.... not because of slippery floor mats or sticky gas pedals, but because of the cover-ups and denials. Toyota got off relatively easy, though I'm sure they would disagree. 
    • GM's ignition switch scandal - GM absolutely deserved to get punished for that.  Not because of the supplier spring being of insufficient tension, but because of the severe series of missteps that happened when trying to address the issue.  For the GM ignition switch issue to occur and result in a fatality, a driver has to have all of the following be true - 1. have a lock cylinder spring with insufficient tension 2. too much weight on the key chain. 3. hit a bump hard enough that the excess weight pulls the switch out of run. 4. be startled or inexperienced enough to react incorrectly to a loss of power situation. 5. not be wearing a seat belt or hit something with enough force that a seat belt without an airbag could result in a fatality.  Five specific conditions that all must be in place for the ignition switch issue to cause a fatality, and not something you can engineer around until you actually know of these situations happening. Where GM failed was not in the engineering department, it was in the reporting structure once reports of an unknown situation started coming in.  Then making it worse by not notifying the proper people/authorities, and then updating the part without updating the part number.  The important point here, is that it is virtually impossible to engineer for unknown unknowns, but the reaction to the unknowns once they are discovered is vital.
    • FCA's and GM's Recalls for airbag sensors sound very similar to the GM ignition switch scandal in everything except the companies' reactions to it.  In both cases, a very specific series of events has to happen in just the right way for the airbags to not deploy during a crash.  The industry average for airbag non-deployment during a collision is around 8%. Even GM's ignition switch fiasco was below that number, but because a cause was known, they had to fix it.  In the most recent recall, there was a single driver fatality of a GM and three known fatalities of FCA vehicles. Those wouldn't even be statistical noise for the number of trucks GM has sold in those years.  Commendably to both FCA and GM, they reacted quickly once the possibility of an issue was known and issued recalls promptly once they had a fix. 
    • VW defrauded people.  It wasn't "just littering". They lied to multiple national governments. They lied to their customers. They sold goods with fraudulent labels. They marketed their goods fraudulently. They did so in spite of being warned against doing so by other companies they were working with. They did it with malice and forethought because they felt they were above the law.... and once they were called on it, they tried to cover it up. In case you hadn't heard, fraud is illegal, and other companies that have committed severe fraud have been punished out of business. Many more companies have committed fraud and got away with it (basically any publicly traded financial investment institution or mortgage bank from 2001 - 2008), they should have been punished as well.  The difference here is in the intent.  No engineer at GM or FCA was trying to defraud people or get anyone killed, it was simply that engineers cannot see the future and every single "series of unfortunate events".  VW's and Bosch's engineers actively worked to defraud national governments and their customers in order to increase their own profits. It was done with intent and malice, just as Enron's disabling of certain electric supply lines to cause prices to go up and force rolling blackouts was done with intent and malice.  THAT is why VW is getting spanked hard here and not GM or FCA. 
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    Yeah, I understand. It's still BS. The only people that care that VW lied is the government and EPA. TDI owners loved their cars' performance, and the only reason the overwhelming majority of them are letting go of their cars is because the buyout is such a ridiculously good deal. Our diesel regs are garbage anyway. There were far bigger issues to focus on. They're picking something that's an easy target.

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    I think automakers are finding out what happens when you don't sweat the details.

     

    While I can't be hard on them, there are lots of pending issues on their current lineup that need to be addressed...

     

    Granted, some of those models will be gone soon....

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    What VW did was wrong as was what GM did with the ignition issue, Toyota with the unintended acceleration, and Takata with their airbag issues.  Hopefully they have all learned.  I don't think it is a bad thing at all when a manufacturer realizes their is a problem and does a recall.  Things are changing.  I do hope VW gets their emission issues fixed because they had a great thing going with their TDI cars and I hate to see them pull them out of the US completely. 

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    On 9/17/2016 at 1:38 PM, Frisky Dingo said:

    Yeah, I understand. It's still BS. The only people that care that VW lied is the government and EPA. TDI owners loved their cars' performance, and the only reason the overwhelming majority of them are letting go of their cars is because the buyout is such a ridiculously good deal. Our diesel regs are garbage anyway. There were far bigger issues to focus on. They're picking something that's an easy target.

    I have to disagree with you. The diesel engine with proper clean technology is fine, but letting them pollute the way they did adding carcinogens to the air we breath, acid rain, etc. calls for VW to be spanked hard and their diesel to die.

    We have much better tech now anyway than to continue to use polluting, death causing diesel.

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    1 hour ago, dfelt said:

    I have to disagree with you. The diesel engine with proper clean technology is fine, but letting them pollute the way they did adding carcinogens to the air we breath, acid rain, etc. calls for VW to be spanked hard and their diesel to die.

    We have much better tech now anyway than to continue to use polluting, death causing diesel.

     

    VW is being crucified in a way one of those other companies are. Intentional or not, they polluted a more than they should. They didn't kill people. They didn't dump millions of gallons of crude in the ocean. Or bury tons of radioactive material. In the grand scheme of things, it is a minor incident. 

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    23 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

     

    VW is being crucified in a way one of those other companies are. Intentional or not, they polluted a more than they should. They didn't kill people. They didn't dump millions of gallons of crude in the ocean. Or bury tons of radioactive material. In the grand scheme of things, it is a minor incident. 

    Yet you forget about the Billions of cubic feet of acid carcinogens that circle the globe and hurt us all. The Diesel pollution has already been clearly linked to the heavy Acid Rain that is destroying forest in Europe.

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